Sunday, May 16, 2010

FO: Toronto shawl

At long last! This was one of my slowest projects ever, taking almost a month even working on it pretty exclusively, and the process was really tedious in some parts. Thankfully I had a couple days off from work due to a thwarted vacation, and finally got through the crocheted edging. Then it looked like crap!

Blocking took some patience, as the shape at each increase row was wonky, and every one of the little loops on the edge had to be pinned out.

As you can see, I'm not huge on special equipment for knitting, and my blocking, even lace blocking, is done with old towels, regular pins, and a tape measure. Once in a while I get tempted to get special blocking boards with the measurements printed on, and the special blocking wires and pins, then I realize I hate stuff. So blocking remains a tedious task, measuring over and over, and  pinning and re-pinning until it's right. Since this is a semi-circle, I measured the radius to the point of each of the V's in the outermost pattern, to make sure the blocking was even. (Actually, I did the same for the radius at the edge of each pattern, to prevent over-stretching some parts more than others.) This took a few hundred pins, but it was worth it to see the lace blocked out!

The pattern is Vernal Equinox, by Lankakomero, which is free through Ravelry, and free of errors since it was previously a big knit-along (and presumably any errors were caught and fixed). The only modification I made was leaving out one of the repeats of the 4th chart, because I couldn't stand it any more. Otherwise, this is a great pattern with constant changes so it's hard to get bored, and I highly recommend it. It's also a semi-circle, which is better than a circle because one can actually see the pattern, and is better than a triangle, which I have recently been made aware/paranoid points down at one's butt like an arrow. My Double is modeling it here--the crabapple tree was unavailable this weekend because of rain--and seems happy with it.

The yarn is Super Alpaca Lace paints from Estelle, and while the colorway is actually a boring number, I've decided Cabernet is the perfect name. It's 100% alpaca and has that funny slightly soapy-slipperiness that alpaca has, and of course is super soft and light and warm. There were no knots or breaks in the yarn, which certainly helped when I was balling it up on a carryon bag instead of a swift. I love how the colorway worked out with this pattern, and overall I'll be sure to get this yarn if I see it again.

The shawl was 19" in radius before blocking, 29" in radius after blocking, and used 682 yards of laceweight yarn. All in all, this was a slow but worth-it project, and a great memento of Toronto!

5 comments:

Rose Red said...

Oh, it's beautiful! Totally worth the effort of both knitting it and blocking it. Just gorgeous.

Sereknitty said...

Wow! Absolutely spectacular! Nicely done. While I don't have a gridded blocking board, I did succumb to buying the wire/pins kit and have blessed it every time I need to use it. It comes in a poster tube and takes up very little space. If you're so inclined, I got mine through Knit picks and can highly recommend it!

Julie said...

oh WOW!! It's stunning!! the colour, the stitches, everything about it is beautiful. Awesome job!!!

tina said...

Spectacular! Absolutely stunning! Can't wait to see it!!!

Louey said...

That is beautiful. you have the patience of a saint! Fantastic!